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NIH grantees under the microscope?

Research groups are concerned that a new NIH probe into conflicts of interest among extramural researchers may ultimately limit academic-industry partnerships

Ted Agres
Federal investigators are examining how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) oversees financial conflicts of interest among thousands of extramural scientists and grant recipients -- a decision biomedical research groups warn may lead to restrictions on industry-academic collaborations, ultimately inhibiting the translation of biomedical discoveries into therapies and diagnostics."There have to be interactions between those doing the research and those doing the translation," said David Korn, senior vice president for biomedical and health sciences research at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which has prepared policy recommendations for academic and clinical researchers. If COI rules for extramural researchers are too Draconian, "you run the risk of interfering with" the search for cures and other health benefits, Korn told The Scientist."This is something we need to be very concerned about," said Howard Garrison, public affairs director at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, which has issued guidelines...

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